A 79-year-old woman has been sentenced to 10 days in jail for feeding the stray cats she said brought her comfort and companionship.
Nancy Segula, of Ohio, began feeding the cats about two years ago when they were left behind after her neighbour moved.
"There's been about six to eight adult cats and now there's kittens coming over, too," Ms Segula told cleveland.com.
"I miss my own kitties. They passed away, my husband passed away. I'm lonely. So the cats and kitties outside help me."
Garfield Heights Municipal Court magistrate Jeffrey Short handed Ms Segula the 10-day sentence after she received more than $2,000 in fines, Fox 8 Cleveland reported.
Under a city ordinance, it is illegal to feed stray dogs and cats in Garfield Heights.
Mr Short was covering for Judge Jennifer Weiler on the day of the sentencing. She told the Washington Post she would like to hear all sides of the case with everyone in the room, including the defendant and her lawyer, the prosecutor and a representative from animal control, to decide whether the jail sentence is fair.
"I'll try to find out what's going on, what's happening and then try and make a decision that makes sense for the circumstances," Ms Weiler said.
Ms Segula said she did not know there was a city ordinance against feeding cats, Fox 8 reported.
"The cats keep coming over to my house," she said. "I just feel bad so then I will give them something to eat."
Segula's son, Dave Pawlowski, was in disbelief when his mother told him about the sentence.
"I'm sure people hear about the things that happen downtown in that jail," Mr Pawlowski told Fox 8. "And they are going to let my 79-year-old mother go there?"
Ms Segula was told to appear at the Cuyahoga County Jail on 11 August.
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